PCA General Assembly

This post is part of the 2012 general assembly series (click to view the other posts in this series).

It's been a while since I've blogged and I certainly plan to pick back up the series I began a few weeks ago, "Church in the Hundred Acre Wood".  But now, I find myself at our denomination's 40th General Assembly and will use this platform to update the congregation where I serve as well as anyone else who may have an interest in our church's General Assembly.  We officially began last night with corporate worship.  Dr.  Mike Ross, a pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina, was elected moderator of this General Assembly. 

As we are all aware, no church is perfect - we await that wonderful day of glorification.  But the church is Christ's - and it has been instittuted by God as that which is given the glorious mission of proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).  And I'm so thankful, even with all our weakness, even with all our failures, for our church, the Presbyterian Church in America.

Coming to General Assembly is much like a family reunion - seeing ones you love that you haven't seen in a year or maybe longer - and the love that is there runs deep.  And yet, just like in the local church, there are differences and disagreements in the larger church.  And these sometimes threaten to divide.  I can't help but to think that one of the factors in this is that we forget our first love and turn too often to our own self-love.  

I officiated a wedding about a week ago and I was reminded of the preciousness of young, fresh, new love.  These two precious people looked into each others' eyes and promised to love one another thorugh thick and thin - in sickness and in health.  Their promises were profound and profoundly serious in their making.  Those vows will be tested and only by looking to Chrst and dying to self will they seek to fulfill them.  I remember my first General Assembly - indeed, my first presbytery where I took my own vows as a minister to faithfully shepherd the flock of God, to strive to faithfully shepherd the flock of God, to strive for the purity and peace of the church, and to submit to its government.  It was a profound experience; one that was fresh, exciting, and recieved with great joy and expectation.  Those vows, just like the marriage vows, are often challenged.  Only by looking to Christ and dying to self is one able to seek to fulfill those vows. 

As a minister, I often need to remember why I love the PCA.  I need to be reminded of our polity and the importance of it.  I need to be reminded of the sweet fellowship I have with those in our church.  And, as I am reminded of those things at GA, I am also reminded, even more importantly, of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am surprised how much my soul soaks up the Word that is given.  I forget how much I need to be ministered to!  I am thankful for the ministry of the Word. 

Having had the privilege of planting a church and ministering for the last several years, I have seen the excitement of people hearing the gospel for the first time.  With that excitement came a deep passion and desire to share that news that they had heard and of which they had learned - there was a passion to share with others the new community and fellowship of which they had become part.  They were so excited and so so desirous to share with others that they didn't have the time or desire to do anything else.  Too often we become familiar, complacent, and dare I say, bored with the gopsel such that our efforts are spent elsewhere - complaining, nitpicking, and/or grumbling. 

My prayer, for our marriages, for our local congregations, and for our denomination as a whole, is that God would bring our hearts and our passions back to that freshness - that God would bring a passionate love between husbands and wives - that He would bring sincere fellowship and a deep love among the members of local congregations - and that He would bring a unity among the brethren of our denomination - in other words, that God would give us all those things that were present when we first "fell in love."   

I thank God for His Church and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is King and Head of it!  May He bless us and keep us, may He strengthen us and use us in the advance of His kingdom!!

I will update one more time either Thursday night late or after I return home.....


This post is part of the 2012 general assembly series (click to view the other posts in this series).